Nav: Home

UMN researchers study the impact of insurance coverage on transferred patients

November 07, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- November 07, 2018- University of Minnesota Medical School researchers seek to identify the relationship between insurance coverage and the mortality rate of patients transferred between hospitals.

Recently published in the Journal of General Internal MedicineInsurance Coverage Predicts Mortality in Patients Transferred Between Hospitals: a Cross-Sectional Study, found that patients without insurance are more likely to be transferred earlier in the process, more frequently from the emergency department, and had higher mortality. The study highlights the fact that while federal law prohibits unsafe transfers for financial reasons, the transfer of uninsured patients remains common and risky.

There are several possible reasons for these findings. "It could be that patients without insurance are presented late in their course of illness, and are more likely to have an emergent condition. Alternatively, it could be that the hospital does their initial mandated triage exam, identifies an emergent condition and transfers them for economic reasons," explained Michael Usher, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School.

This study suggests that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act is not sufficient to protect uninsured patients, since it does not address the underlying problem. Furthermore, the study demonstrates an important way that reducing the rate of uninsured has the potential to reduce total healthcare costs and improve patient safety: by reducing the need to transfer patients.

"This highlights the fact that having uninsured patients just doesn't make sense: the cost of care remains even if it gets pushed around, and uninsured patients experience real harm," said Usher.

Dr. Usher's hope is that these findings will produce results that lower risk factors for patients and provide equitable health coverage for all. Moving forward, Dr. Usher hopes to continue to work on improving the safety of transfers as well as focus on the impact of fragmentation of these vulnerable patients.
-end-
About the University of Minnesota Medical School:

The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Visit med.umn.edu to learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine.

University of Minnesota Medical School

Related Mortality Rate Articles:

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.
Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.
Examining the link between caste and under-five mortality in India
In India, children that belong to disadvantaged castes face a much higher likelihood of not living past their fifth birthday than their counterparts in non-deprived castes.
Mortality rate 'weekend effect' not a reliable measure of care quality in hospitals
The higher mortality rate for weekend hospital admissions should not be used as an indicator of quality of care due to the lack of data preceding patient admission and on the severity of their illness, a new study conducted at the University of Warwick Medical School has concluded.
Drug-resistant tuberculosis: High mortality rate due to inaccurate tests
Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients in developing countries often fail to reliably detect resistance to drugs, leading to incorrect treatment and a higher mortality rate.
Mortality rates rising for Gens X and Y too
Declining life expectancies in the US include Gen X and Y Americans, in addition to the older Baby Boomers.
Far 'over-the-hill' lies the plateau of human mortality
Above age 105, the rise in risk of death by age slows -- and even plateaus -- according to a new study, one that provides valuable insight into one of the most fundamental questions of human aging; Is there a fixed maximum lifespan for humans?
Study finds 2.6 percent mortality rate among children hospitalized for stroke
A major international study has found that 2.6 percent of infants and children hospitalized for stroke die in the hospital.
Nursing home residents with advanced dementia have lower mortality rate with hip surgery
Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research and Brown University have conducted the first study to examine outcomes in nursing home residents with advanced dementia and hip fracture.
Associating frailty to cardiovascular disease and mortality
Frailty is common in elderly people with cardiovascular disease and goes along with elevated mortality.
More Mortality Rate News and Mortality Rate Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.